Backup Catcher Thunderdome: Gabye, Gabor

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Backup Catcher Thunderdome: Gabye, Gabor

. Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In a titanic clash of the men most likely to hit below .200, Koyie "Jazz Hands" Hill bested Gabor Paul Bako II for the right to scratch himself on the bench while the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year goes out and does his thing. Not that I can cast stones - being the 5th outfielder for a suburban freshman high school baseball team is about the height of my athletic prowess. And perhaps the backup catcher battle is not even as dramatic as I make it sound, but it bugs Steve that I frequently use the term Thunderdome, so here we are. Blame Paul Bako has claimed victory. Enjoy Gabor and Jazz Hands' numbers, with the usual caveat that Spring Training numbers don't mean anything:

Bako: 32 AB, 12H, 4R, 2HR

Hill: 42 AB, 16H, 8R, 2HR

I don't really see what made Lou choose Hill over Bako. I assumed that the reason he was brought on was to provide a veteran presence behind the plate and in the dugout. Koyie Hill, even though he's 30, doesn't really offer the same range of experience that Bako does. It's hard to pin this on anything except saving a few hundred thousand (no small amount to us proletarians, but a tiny percentage of our team payroll). We could have sent Hill back to the minors, where he's inexplicably a hitting superstar, and kept Bako, but we can't do things the other way around. Now you have to wonder who in the minors gets the backup call should Soto or Hill go down. Wellington Castillo is nowhere near ready to be a big-league catcher, and Jake Fox just isn't qualified to be behind the plate. Hopefully Soto catches a Hundley-like (the good one) number of games, and this all becomes academic. Gabor, we hardly knew ye.